[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong has been dropped from the board of directors of Exor, the holding company of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
The Italian investment firm reportedly took the decision as he is facing trial for his alleged involvement in an influence peddling scandal surrounding former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
Samsung refused to comment on the latest issue, saying it is Lee's personal matter.
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“As we begin this next important phase in our history, I would like to extend my personal thanks to board members -- namely Vittorio Avogadro di Collobiano, Giovanni Chiura, Mina Gerowin and Lee Jae-yong -- whose mandates have recently drawn to a close,” said Exor Chairman John Elkann at a board meeting on April 5.
“Their wise counsel during a particularly intensive and complex period has been decisive in making Exor what it is today -- a stronger, leaner and ever more international group, well placed for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
Elkann first met the de facto Samsung leader in Seoul in 2010, following which he requested him to join Exor’s board. The appointment was finalized in May 2012, and renewed for a three-year term in 2015.
Lee was unable to attend a board meeting in November 2016 as he was banned from leaving Korea due to the charges against him -- offering bribes to former President Park’s confidante Choi Soon-sil amounting to 43 billion won (US$37.8million).
Choi, in return, allegedly exerted her influence over government agencies to help support Samsung Group’s controversial business schemes such as the merger of construction firm Samsung C&T and materials firm Cheil Industries, and listing of drug developer Samsung BioLogics on the Korean stock market.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)